Phenomenon of Disneyland’s success in Hong Kong

Author: Наталья Журавель

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Disneyland is a magic world. Once there every adult recollects how is it to be a child – to believe in magic, be friends with cartoon characters, enjoy swinging, eat cotton candy and watch the world with widely open eyes. As for children they are fascinated by the very idea of travelling to Disneyland – a country of childhood and Mickey Mouse.

Hong Kong Disneyland, like octopus, stretched its magic palps far beyond the entrance to the park, involving everyone around to the fairy tale starting from the underground station in Mickey Mouse style and straight to the entrance to the spectacular show – Disney world.

Animated cartoons, fairy-tale heroes, amusement facilities, Hong Kong – it is one of the most financially successful Disney projects in the whole world notwithstanding the crisis and other troubles which affected similar parks in another countries. What is the difference of Hong Kong park that has been designed similarly to the other parks but became more successful? What is the secret of Asian miracle?


Since the first days Disneyland in Hong Kong distinguished itself as it was built in the shortest possible time vs the other five parks throughout the world. It was opened on September 12, 2005, and total cost of the project made $3,5 billions.

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Having visited the park even inattentive guest will notice expressions of Chinese culture which are harmoniously combined with Disney traditions. For instance, it’s hard to imagine Alice singing in Chinese, or a wizard Merlin being a pure-blood Asian! But here it’s a common thing! This is one of the park’s significant differences from the others – during its creation Chinese culture was treated with high respect and it penetrated every amusement device, even the restaurants’’ cuisine. Park’s opening was also carried out in Chinese tradition – with music of clattering plates accompanied by Chinese dancers and firework. According to Feng Shui the opening of part on September 12, 2005 shows promise of the park’s favorable development. By expert’s opinion it’s Feng Shui, as an integral part of Chinese traditions, that ensures successfulness and financial prosperity of the park for many years. Bellow we’ll try to find out wherein it is implemented :).


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Hong Kong is very rational and business city however here people honor and apply ancient Feng Shui knowledge – about 90% of Hong Kong citizens believe in Feng Shui powerfulness. For the last eight years city government spent more than 8 million dollars reimbursing losses to people residing near construction sites which has an adverse impact on their Feng Shui.

Very few dare to ignore Feng Shui here. The Chinese are aware that bad Feng Shui (pronounced FUNG SHWAY) can lead to financial collapse and other adverse effects. Therefore in the construction of Disneyland in Hong Kong particular attention was paid to Chinese culture customs and traditions and consequently to Feng Shui. In construction they took into account all details of recommendation, given y Feng Shui expert who has developed detailed project for the park right up to its opening.


Geographic location of the park is ideal from the Feng Shui perspective. Park is oriented towards the see and surrounded by hills to maximize and concentrate auspicious energy. Disneyland is located on Lantau island in the Penni Bay in the North-East part of the island among the neighboring hills and sea: on the right – «White tiger», on the left «Green Dragon».

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Stretching from railway station all roads have gradually turning curves for positive energy to prevent leakage of Qi energy through omitting the entrance. Throughout the park there are large rocks and two strategic boulders to ensure protection, support and stability.

The main gates and entrance to the park are oriented along the South-North axis – that means maximum tuning into favorable energy and influx of guests. In front of the entrance there is designed a curve to enable Qi energy of South Chinese Sea smoothly to flow into the park. Another well-organized territory is situated in the East where the park has the second entrance. Entrances to see different sights are located in the most advantageous directions.


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Intensive use of water is the most notable aspect of the park. It is especially appreciated by children on a hot summer day who pour hot water on each other. However in this case water plays much more crucial role being an important element of Feng Shui. Lakes, ponds and brooks are situated throughout the park but major part of water is concentrated in the South-West part of the park.

Besides lakes and rivers the park also has many waterfalls to accumulated good luck and wealth. In front of the entrance there is a huge bronze fountain where a stream of water supports Mickey Mouse on the surfboard – thus to combine classical nature of Disney (welcoming the guests in front of the entrance to the park) and auspicious location of water in front of the entrance to the park according to principles of good Feng Shui, as well as to block the straight road that leads to a park – because curvy roads allow favorable Qi to flow better than the straight ones.


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Restaurants’ stoves are located in a special way to provide healthy meals and welfare in the kitchen. One of the restaurants even has a “virtual fire”, that is a video demonstrating fire which is projected on the bar’s wall in order to balance elements inside the room.

In the menu you will find dishes of Chinese cuisine that is particularly appreciated not only by Asians but also by international tourists who are willing to enjoy traditionally Asian cuisine.
Layout of hotels and location of water on their territory have been thoroughly designed to ensure prosperity of the park for the period up to 2044. Orientation to South Chinese Sea has also been taken into consideration.

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In front the hotel Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has a view of the embankment and South Chinese Sea that apart from the spectacular view also provide good Feng Shui.

The Chinese make haste slowly – although the park has been built within the shortest possible time they complied with all rituals and upon completion of every building they performed traditional burning of the incense.


How successful is Disneyland in figures?

2005 г. – парк привлек 5,2 млн. посетителей в первый год;

2006 – number of visitors reduced by 20%, i.e. by 4 millions;
2007 – number of visitors increased by 8%, i.e. up to 4.5 millions;

2010 – 5.2 million visitors per year– it is the most visited park in the world.

It’s worth mentioning that this park is the smallest in the whole world and, compared with the same Paris Disneyland, rather young. Nevertheless it survived the economic crisis rather painless and continues successfully to develop its “muscles”.

For illustrative purposes let’s compare it with Paris Disney park that will celebrate twentieth anniversary this year. During construction of the latter no one thought of Feng Shui and, moreover, Walt Disney Company has been criticized for ignoring French culture. As a result – since the first days of operation attendance of the park was far from the anticipated amount notwithstanding that the economy of that period was booming. In May of 1992 daily attendance of the park was about 25,000 visitors instead of the anticipated 60,000. Euro Disney stock prices began to fall and the first year of operation was unprofitable. By the early 1994 the park was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Although in August of 2008 Paris Disneyland was the most visited sight to see in Europe, and was renamed into “Paris Disneyland”, after 18 years of operation the number of visitors increased to15 million visitors, it still remains unprofitable.

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At the same time Disneyland in Hong Kong, being the smallest and young park, to present day still is the most successful Disney Park in respect of growth of ticket sales and increasing number of visitors. It can be rather unexpected from the Westerner’s view of business development and operation; however it’s quite logical from the Feng Shui perspective.

It’s obvious that Feng Shui is widely used in its homeland in the East, but it also becomes more and more popular in the countries of Western world and Europe. Many famous and successful companies were established in compliance with Feng Shui principles (Apple, Microsoft, etc.). However Feng Shui is not able to change 100% of the fate of humans or business – its influence covers one third of the fate. The other two thirds are predetermined by the destiny and can be changes by the humans themselves. Anyway we have to admit that 33% is a great deal of support :). Therefore you should not bow to the fate. It’s much better to address to professionals, learn techniques and win!

Natalya Zhuravel